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The Brammo – Winning the Hearts of the

Brammo Empulse Electric Review — Can Brammo get the pulse racing?

Out on the frontiers of technology, so it is said, there are leaders, bleeders and killers. either leading the pack, along forlornly behind it or slaying the competition with a that redefines the market, it for ever. Oregon-based bike Brammo. hope that fresh-on-the-road Empulse will be that ‘… app’ for the motorbike market; and the harbinger of for the internal-combustion engine (ICE)

And if the euphoric noises, coming those hardened bike-hacks who test-ridden the Empulse, are to be believed, more than braggardy from the Brammo camp. The really could be the electric to break the gasoline-fuelled mould. because it manages to up the ante on most sought-after of bike – the ability to delivery a of sheer exhilaration.

Rocky for Brammo

But the journey for Brammo’s – up until it was launched on the public this summer been bent a fair way the smooth trajectory Brammo envisioned. Conceived in 2009, and in 2010, the Empulse was to have for the public in summer 2011. schedule was put on hold, however, Brammo made a major revision – introducing a six-speed gearbox into the drive mix.

Now, in autumn 2012, we have the top-end Empulse R out – a year late while the base model is not the showrooms until 2013.

So the question is whether the wait has worthwhile? Given the luke-warm from some in the biking to earlier e-motorbike efforts including Brammo’s Enertia. first squealed rubber in – the stumbling delivery might suggest not. motorbikes?

Been there, that – no speed, no no range. But the spec sheet on the is different, hinting at something a little bit special.

It sports a century of headline-grabbing numbers: top-speed and a 100+ mile It also sports some and serious motorbike kit – Marzocchi Marchesini wheels, Brembo Better still, the bike is sporty in-and-of-itself – a feisty yet clean look Triumph Street Triple was a reference point), one that be equally at home carving the as it would conquering the mountain

These are all considerable positives, and enough to get a glancing acknowledgement the bike-for-fun brigade.

Taking the up to Warp Factor 9

But what may that mild disinterest to conversion is the ride. Electric have always threatened a quality of ride, with near silent application of torque. With the Brammo they may finally have on that for the mass market.

And is a big deal, given that the for motorbikes, especially in the developed is all about the thrill of the chase. a biker a ride that the thrill up to Warp Factor 9, and grab his soul. Offer it for than $20,000 and he may just get out his

So what is it that fuels with such potential for conversion among the committed ‘gassers’? Those who have the Empulse around a bit pinpoint it to two – superb balance and vibrations (that is to say, the lack of vibrating, rotating in the ride equation). And both from the design liberation by electrical motor drive-trains.

Taking rotation out of the equation

Gas may not have the mass of an electrical to deal with, but they do a lot of iron-mongery lashed to them, to their gasoline-burning ways. camshaft, transmission, fuel and exhaust – all of these need to laid out and connected, only limited scope for what goes where. makes the ideal distribution of into the bike’s sweet-spots, for handling, a real design

Not so with electric bikes. The ‘iron-mongery’ here, the batteries, can be just about anyway the likes. And Brammo’s designers full advantage of that to squeeze the battery bank into the Empulse’s centre of

Additionally, all the rotation momentum is to the mid-mounted 40kW Permanent AC motor, and not spread out through the as with a gas-bike.

That the drive-system isn’t fighting as you shift your weight making the Empulse a joy to throw The words ‘flickable’ and ‘nimble’ up repeatedly in the excited post-ride of Empulse newbies. Pretty for a bike hulking 470 pounds of around.

And remember, that weight is the dry or wet – no fuel or oil here.

clutching and the comfort-factor

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The other that makes the Empulse stand out is the innovative use of gearing for the motor. Because of the flat profile of most electrical – turn the throttle, and at max torque – many designers have neglected to gearing in. A lot of technical complications are nicely avoided.

But for motor-heads to shifting and clutch control, the of gearing makes for an awkward with a sense of not quite in control.

And the adding-in of gearing, to efficiency, rather than can make sense in other The motor (which has a relatively 63 Nm, or 46 lb-foot of torque to its name) being thrashed relentlessly, on wear-and-tear; the battery can also be on less ferociously, improving And the potential e-bike convert has a less ‘deconstructing’ to do, when from gas to electrons – everything’s where it should be.

It was decision to gear the motors that delayed the proper of the Empulse, as it was a tricky thing to get Brammo brought in gearing via an Integrated Electric Transmission unit from SMRE, in via a wet clutch system. But they did all the complex electronics in-house. By all the effort was worthwhile.

Those who have taken the onto the roads have both the comfort-factor given by and gears, and the flexibility the gearing RPM afford for conserving battery.

NHC in the Gas-tank

The battery pack is covered by a ‘gas tank’ which hides the 103.6V and their 10.2 kWh of lithium-ion It makes use of nickel cobalt chemistry(NHC) to maximize energy The charger is revealed by flipping the cap’, and can take a standard connector, as well as the now usual EV the 220V Level II J1772. On I, the battery is slow to fill up at 8 long hours.

Level II that to a slightly more 3.5 hours. It’s certain no-one will be throwing the word ‘nimble’ for the electric

And many will also the 100 mile range (120 in the city). While that is a to bandied about proudly in the world, many fossil-fuelled ICE may baulk at the idea of limiting ride to 100 miles-a-day. And this is Brammo’s marketing strategy for the will stand or fall.

A longer joy-ride needed?

have gone out of their way to a bike that any self-respecting fiend’ would fall in with. They have it easy to switch to electric, familiar action, good great acceleration and fabulous potential. And unlike with other e-bike sectors, the market is one ripe for conquest, electric delivers what riders already want, but to do it better.

They may even be to pay $18,000 for the privilege. The big question is this potential gas-bike has enough gain to outweigh the pain.

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